We Were Soldiers is a 2002 American war film that dramatizes the Battle of Ia Drang on November 14, 1965. The film was directed by Randall Wallace and stars Mel Gibson. It is based on the book We Were Soldiers Once And Young by Lieutenant General (Ret.) Hal Moore and reporter Joseph L. Galloway, both of whom were at the battle. A French unit is on patrol in Vietnam in 1954, during the First Indochina War. The unit is suddenly ambushed by North Vietnamese Army forces, who kill the officers. Although the French soldiers kill many Viet Minh, the unit is soon overrun. Nguyen Huu An (Don Duong) orders the execution of all surviving French soldiers, to discourage further French involvement in Vietnam. Eleven years later, the United States had entered the Vietnam War. U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore (Mel Gibson) is depicted as dedicated and deeply committed to training troops under his command (the 7th Cavalry Regiment), who are preparing for deployment to Vietnam.
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